Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Tmh85

Audiophile Myths Proved Wrong!

Recommended Posts

Quick question.

When we talk about kilohertz, we're not talking about pitch but the amount of times per second that the audio hardware is pushing new information to you. So how is it relevant that we can only hear 20khz pitches or whatever when we're not talking about the pitch?

I can't tell the difference between 192 or 96 or whatever, but why is it such a dramatic difference when you go to around ~22khz to 44? There theoretically should be no difference at all according to you.

The maximum sound wave frequency a file can contain is half the sampling frequency. Sampling above 40 helps when recording and mastering for various technical reasons, but for playback it is unnecessary and potentially harmful to the audio quality.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you think was wrong in the video? 

 

Did you see the "show" button?

 

Wow, I've only watched a bit of the video and skimmed through the rest but from what I've seen the video is pretty awful. It's a mix of true facts, misunderstanding facts, bad tests, huge generalizations and flat out misinformation. It's rare to see the comment section on YouTube be decent, but in this case it seems like the comment section is more educated than the people in the video. ihasmario replies to a lot of points they made.

 

ihasmario's comment

 

"Flac is pointless"

By pointless do you mean an effective manner of storing compressed, lossless copies of the original that can be modified and transcoded in a way that is not additively destructive?

"Within margin of error and placebo effect"

Do you even know what these two things are?

"Humans can hear 20-20khz in a wide range of studies"

Most of these 'studies' actually identify most adults as stopping reasonable audibility at 16khz.

"Even 96kHz is overkill. It does nothing"

By overkill, do you mean that it allows a Nyquist frequency of 48khz as opposed to 22.05kz (or 24khz), allowing for perfect reproductions of audio without frying speakers, aliasing into the audible spectrum, etc with less steep LPFs, which as a result impart less noise?

"I've seen upward of 300"

On a DAC/ADC? Where is he quoting this figure from, what products? Or is he referring to DSP and ASPs?

"It sounds like you're on a telephone"

The quality of a telephone has more to do with its bit depth than its frequency.

"It should be the same difference"

Except, even in frequencies we can hear, the human ear is significantly weaker at detecting high frequencies, and the acoustic reflex and parts of the brain will actively filter many of these frequencies if there are louder noises present in the region of 300-4khz. This is why shaped dithering and quantisation noise is shaped upwards.

"Tubes are terrible". "I grew up with warm sound"

Which tubes are you referring to? There are very noisy (Bad tubes), and tube systems which, when presented with a reactive or resistive load present <0.01% distortion - significantly less than many 'solid state' amplifiers. 

Tubes haven't had "warm" sound for a long time. Please stop referring to the use of tubes in guitar amplifiers to the use of tubes in power and headphone amplifiers. Although the technologies are the same, the reason for their use is fundamentally different.

"Solidstate does not distort the sound at all"

So basically you're saying that solid state amps break all known laws of physics and thermodynamics, and that it should, in theory be possible to have a solidstate amplifier supplying and outputting the same line level signal - without degradation, for an indefinite amount of time and cycles? Because that is logically, demonstrably, and patently untrue.

"Do an EQ"

Muh phase.

"Tube amps are only for fun"

Or, for example, having the high stress part of the circuit (with the lowest MTBF) easily replaceable. Or, for example, driving higher voltages at lower costs due to the easier nature of OTL designs in tube amplifiers. 

"Vinyl is recorded in 24bit"

Except, if we use Fourier transforms of the potential output, the total potential bitdepth of Vinyl (as expressed as a product of its total DNR) is lower than even CD. Are you referring to digital pressings of 24bit audio? Because every CD recorded today is going to be mastered in 24bit (actually, that's not true, most of it is going to be mastered in 30+bit float audio which gives extra headroom, which is why clipping masters in most DAWs does not cause the audio to clip), and then mixed down to 16/44.1. This tells us nothing about the actual media it is pressed on. Or is this mouthbreather confusing 24bit rips with a 24bit source?

"If you can use the quality"

What quality are you referring to?

Needless to say, I stopped watching at this point. I'm surprised he didn't mention "muh stair steps" during the vinyl vs CD comparison, because that is exactly where the level of understanding of this 'expert' is.

Why don't you do some fact checking before posting the next video? Was this video about dispelling Audiophile myths or spouting them?

Please feel free to respond at any time, Tek Syndicate.

 

Oh and before people go "you're just a hater/audiophile that don't want to get told", the FiiO E10 is pretty much the only DAC/AMP I recommend, and I have said that vinyl is inferior to CD as far as sound quality goes (assuming the same master was used), and that I can't tell the difference between FLAC and 320Kbps MP3 before.

Just don't like misinformation and half-truths.

 

This is a really good topic. Looking forward to the response.


Rig: i7 2600K @ 4.2GHz, Larkooler Watercooling System, MSI Z68a-gd80-G3, 8GB G.Skill Sniper 1600MHz CL9, Gigabyte GTX 670 Windforce 3x 2GB OC, Samsung 840 250GB, 1TB WD Caviar Blue, Auzentech X-FI Forte 7.1, XFX PRO650W, Silverstone RV02 Monitors: Asus PB278Q, LG W2243S-PF (Gaming / overclocked to 74Hz) Peripherals: Logitech G9x Laser, QPad MK-50, AudioTechnica ATH AD700

Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you see the "show" button?

 

 

This is a really good topic. Looking forward to the response.

 

I already responded to that on YouTube, I'm not typing all of that again. I've also already replied to most of those questions in this thread already.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I found this topic on the TekSyndicate forums.  Pretty good reply by jack324.  Original post here

 

Re: To Logan And Tyler.

(And anyone else really that saw the video.)

RE: AUDIOPHILE MYTHS PART 1

Note... I'm putting this here because I couldn't find a section that seems to fit the "In response to your video I felt the need to create a complete forum topic because it was to big to be a post" theme that I'm going for. If there's a better place, then for the love all things holy, put this post there.

Ok this video was better than the last. All the Info was generally accurate, and unless your getting paid to master orchestral audio, you should be fine going by what was said here.

However...

The sample rate, or sampling frequency defines the number of samples per unit of time (usually seconds) taken from a continuous signal to make a discrete signal. Or... for the layman, the resolution of the data used to record or generate a given sound. A very good analogy to this is Image resolution.

5nye.jpg

Note the effect of low sample rates on the left vs the high sample rates on the right in the image above. Observe how the higher sample rate more faithfully reproduces the wave form.

 

Now, you may be wondering, if our ears can only discern sounds up to 20-ish kHz, why record and play audio at 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz if we cant actually hear noises in that high a range?

Well, let me introduce you to Nyquist–Shannon sampling theorem. I wont explain in depth because explaining it in scientific terms blows my mind. The basic gist of the theorem is that for any signal you want to record, your rate of sampling for recording (and for playback) must be 2x or more of the max frequency of the target signal in order to reproduce the signal perfectly.

So since human hearing has a max of 20 kHz, we need 40 kHz sampling in order to record lifelike audio.

Whats that you say? Why record at 44.1 kHz if 40 is enough?

That's a question with a long, long answer. But I will try to give it to you short and sweet:

There is a thing in audio, just like in imagery, called aliasing. It occurs when an audio signal is passed through a low pass filter (reduces noise) and, due to limitations in the filter tech, it cuts part of the high end (treble) and the low end (bass) off the signal. To prevent aliasing, audio recording and playback device manufacturers design their systems with transition bands (which act like safety margins) at the top and bottom of a signal to prevent the low pass filter from cutting the top and/or bottom of the audio off before passing it along to your speakers. Back in the day when the standards for CD's was being decided, the most popular device that could playback audio was video cassette players, which used PCM adapters to record audio, and these PCM adapters were matched to the low pass filters on TV's and VCR's

The most popular video cassette player/recorder around at the time used 44.1 kHz pcm adapters to record audio. The designers of the CD standard wanted to keep CD's compatible with ntsc and pal tv signals used in most TV's and VCR's, thus negating the need to convert signals between the two standards and simplifying playback across a wide variety of devices.

The 44.1 kHz signal used by these PCM adapters is divided as such: 0 kHz to 1.025 kHz as the bottom transition band, 1.026 to 43.075 kHz contains the actual audio, and 43.076-44.1 as the top margin. So despite alsways being depicted as 44.1 kHz, the actually audio bandwidth is 42.05 kHz.

That's still more then we can hear though, right? Yes, technically its more then we need, but the theorem also states that your more likely to produce a perfect reproduction of the recorded signal if you are recording and playing back at more than twice the max frequency. That little extra is there to help ensure we get that Perfect playback.

It should be noted that sony was the manufacturer of the most popular line of VCR's at the time and also a leader on the council that made the CD standard, so we can assume they made a heavy handed push for 44.1 kHz over the other contenders standards.

So... why then do we bother recording at 48 kHz if 44.1 is supposed to produce a perfect reproduction of the original audio?

For the same reason we record in 44.1 kHz. It enables the use of wider transition bands and also slightly more space for the audio to reside in.

Now we still haven't answered the question about our inability to hear past 20 kHz and how that plays into the use of 44.1 or 48 kHz. Remember, the sample rate is not what actually comes out of your speakers, but rather, it is how many times per second the sound is captured as data. It essentially means there is at least two data points for every frequency, even the highest ones and that is what's needed to reproduce realistic audio. 44.1 kHz was chosen because it meets this requirement. (and because allot of money was thrown around... but I digress.)

Now what about the really high frequencies? like 88.2, 96, 172.4, or even 192??? 

All the sample rates above 48 kHz are used for whats called Oversampling recording. This method allows for better data resolution and less restrictive anti-aliasing filters in high end recording systems, resulting in less noise and cleaner audio for editing and signals analysis. You also need to have special equipment to record/playback audio at this sample rate, IE an expensive sound card. 

When outputting say, 192 KHz audio over headphones designed for 44.1 kHz, you get whats called ultrasonic distortion caused by the solenoid trying to move so fast at the high end of the signal that it actually misses whole portions of the signal in an effort to keep up. if you were to use a sound system designed to handle audio at that sample rate, you would not hear that distortion. remember, sound card manufactures don't include these frequencies as a gimmick, its because they really are used in real world applications.

Its just that You as a gamer or casual PC user will probably never in your lifetime encounter a reason to use these extremely high sample rates, and thus shouldn't buy a card that can output these frequencies thinking it will sound better. You will be very very wrong... and your wallet will be sad for the pure waste of its green presidential blood. (Presidents are Vulcan?!?!?!)

Bit rate: 16 bit vs 24 bit vs 32 bit.

First off.... this statement: "The good thing about vinyl is that its recorded in 24 bit vs CD's 16 bit."

I am sorry Tyler, but this statement made me lose faith that you actually, deep down, really do understand audio tech. Vinyls are 100% analog, no bit rates, nothing digital about them, EVER.

But you are right, they can sound better, but that's because sound is inherently analog, and thus when you record it to an analog medium, it is possible to record the analog sound wave precisely the way it is picked up by the microphone.

Now for my take on bit rate.

Use 16 bit per sample. Anything else is only useful when using sample rates above 48 kHz, IE; if you are recording audio to later edit and still retain the high quality of the original recording. And also, it will unnecessarily increase the size of your files with no appreciable gain in quality.

 

On other notes....

I am not going to comment on output impedance. I don't care anymore. I also don't care about DAC's equally as much as I don't care about discrete sound cards. So don't ask me about these. These are all on the fringe of actually quality improvements, IMHO.

Any way, thats my say... comment, say you hate it, but these are empirical facts. Not my opinions at the bottom, those are only facts in my mind, and sometimes even I don't trust my mind.

 


Current Rig
AMD Ryzen 3700X - Asus ROG Strix X570-E - 32 GB GSkill TridentZ RGB
GeForce GTX 1080Ti - Samsung 840 Pro 256GB - Silverstone TJ07

Link to post
Share on other sites

I found this topic on the TekSyndicate forums.  Pretty good reply by jack324.  Original post here

 

Stairstep argument... again...?

 

Sigh: Digital Show and Tell (Monty Montgomery @ xiph.org)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I found this topic on the TekSyndicate forums.  Pretty good reply by jack324.  Original post here

 

Yeah, he doesn't really know what he's talking about.


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel really bad for the people who buy into audiophile grade cables like audioquest

I feel bad for anyone who spends money on gold plated anything, especially digital cables. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty cringeworthy video. I hate blanket statements. I wish they'd taken a more balanced approach and explained things a lot better.

 

Firstlly Flac is a lossless archival format. And there is a quantifiable difference between flac and a 320k / V0 encoded Mp3 - Mp3s are heavily compressed that is clearly beyond debate. Whether you can hear the difference or not depends largely on what music you're listening to, your hearing, and what audio equipment you're listening on. But can some people hear a discernible difference, yes absolutely. I've done a foobar blindtest on music I listen to frequently, I can hear the difference, it's especially noticable on Bass (I run Sennheiser HD650s). However it does require particular attention and during casual listening I wouldn't notice any difference. They are correct to say that for most people on most equipment, mp3s with a decent enough bitrate is all you need. But really, to just say flac is pointless is such agenda driven nonsense.

 

The main point of having flac files is to archive in a lossless format. Mp3 copies can made for portable devices, while your main archive can be kept on your PC. I mean with Hard Drive capacity nowadays why would you not use Flac. If I'm ripping my CDs, why would I compress it down to Mp3 quality. It was established years ago that CD quality audio covered the full range of human hearing perfectly. It's not audiophile snobbery to have a digital collection that is equivalent quality to a rack of CDs.

 

The explanation of sample rate wasn't very good. It gave the impression the DAC guy didn't know what sample rate actually is, or how analogue to digital conversion works. I'm sure he does, but it was a terrible explantation. I agree with the point he was making though a sample rate that is just over double the max range of human hearing is all that is required. Which is an obvious point, however.

 

With regards to the previous video which basically stated all soundcards are pointless. Again there is some truth to that, but it's not a balanced view, it needed better context. I bought a Xonar essence STX to run my Sennheiser HD650s a few years ago to replace crappy onboard sound on my old dell desktop. The onboard DAC was terrible, there was a huge amount of 'noise' and it would barely even drive the 650s. There was a night and day difference between the two. A viable purchase as the Xonar STX has excellent isolation and a built in headphone amp which easilly drives the 650s. It was also the most cost effective solution when compared to buying a USB DAC / amp. Actually it cost me about £100, it now costs £145 new, i'm pretty sure I could sell it for around £90 and i've used it extensively for about 3 years. 

 

All that needed to be said, is that the onboard sound on newish motherboards is extremely good. And with the majority of headphones being of low impedance there's very little reason that most people would require anything other than onboard sound. But if you do, then there's probably a fairly good specific reason, like you have 300 ohm headphones, or you have driver issues, or your onboard is actually really crap.

 

I really didn't like the tone of these videos. I expected a more balanced and informed approach from Logan.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty cringeworthy video. I hate blanket statements. I wish they'd taken a more blanaced approach and explained things a lot better.

 

Firstlly Flac is a lossless archival format. And there is a quantifiable difference between flac and a 320k / V0 encoded Mp3 - Mp3s are heavily compressed that is clearly beyond debate. Whether you can hear the difference or not depends largely on what music you're listening to, your hearing, and what audio equipment you're listening on. But can some people hear a discernible difference, yes absolutely. I've done a foobar blindtest on music I listen to frequently, I can hear the difference, it's especially noticable on Bass (I run Sennheiser HD650s). However it does require particular attention and during casual listening I wouldn't notice any difference. They are correct to say that for most people on most equipment, mp3s with a decent enough bitrate is all you need. But really, to just say flac is pointless is such agenda driven nonsense.

 

The main point of having flac files is to archive in a lossless format. Mp3 copies can made for portable devices, while your main archive can be kept on your PC. I mean with Hard Drive capacity nowadays why would you not use Flac. If I'm ripping my CDs, why would I compress it down to Mp3 quality. It was established years ago that CD quality audio covered the full range of human hearing perfectly. It's not audiophile snobbery to have a digital collection that is equivalent quality to a rack of CDs.

 

The explanation of sample rate wasn't very good. It gave the impression the DAC guy didn't know what sample rate actually is, or how analogue to digital conversion works. I'm sure he does, but it was a terrible explantation. I agree with the point he was making though a sample rate that is just over double the max range of human hearing is all that is required. Which is an obvious point, however.

 

With regards to the previous video which basically stated all soundcards are pointless. Again there is some truth to that, but it's not a balanced view, it needed better context. I bought a Xonar essence STX to run my Sennheiser HD650s a few years ago to replace crappy onboard sound on my old dell desktop. The onboard DAC was terrible, there was a huge amount of 'noise' and it would barely even drive the 650s. There was a night and day difference between the two. A viable purchase as the Xonar STX has excellent isolation and a built in headphone amp which easilly drives the 650s. It was also the most cost effective solution when compared to buying a USB DAC / amp. Actually it cost me about £100, it now costs £145 new, i'm pretty sure I could sell it for around £90 and i've used it extensively for about 3 years. 

 

All that needed to be said, is that the onboard sound on newish motherboards is extremely good. And with the majority of headphones being of low impedance there's very little reason that most people would require anything other than onboard sound. But if you do, then there's probably a fairly good specific reason, like you have 300 ohm headphones, or you have driver issues, or your onboard is actually really crap.

 

I really didn't like the tone of these videos. I expected a more balanced and informed approach from Logan.

 

We've gone over this about 10 times by now in this thread alone. I never said FLAC was totally useless, and it's points for archival are 100% valid. Majority of people, including sound engineers, have confirmed there is no real difference in PLAYBACK between 320 kbps/AAC than FLAC. Sure, some people can hear slight differences, that's good for you.

 

I've already explained myself on the sample rate an equal number of times.

 

Logan was the one who wanted to make these video's, he knows my opinions and encouraged my "tone" and what I've said. I'm just repeating what I know and what I've experienced.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We've gone over this about 10 times by now in this thread alone. I never said FLAC was totally useless, and it's points for archival are 100% valid. Majority of people, including sound engineers, have confirmed there is no real difference in PLAYBACK between 320 kbps/AAC than FLAC. Sure, some people can hear slight differences, that's good for you.

 

I've already explained myself on the sample rate an equal number of times.

 

Logan was the one who wanted to make these video's, he knows my opinions and encouraged my "tone" and what I've said. I'm just repeating what I know and what I've experienced.

 

Yeah, exactly that's a more balanced stance. That's not what I heard in the video. which didn't state any merits of using Flac. It didn't state that 'Sure, some people can hear slight differences'. I mean slight differences are what high quality audio is all about, it's not like the difference between standard def and high definition video. You might hear a slight improvement from mp3 to flac, from upgrading from HD558s to HD650s, from going from using onboard to a O2/ODAC. Whether the slight difference is worth it is completely subjective.

 

I think it's quite foolhardy to draw an arbitrary line for everybody in videos such as these.

 

Not that I have anything against you personally, you were there stating your opinions, which for the most part are pretty valid. It just needed to be more balanced. Which i'm sure from the comments on here, youtube and over at tek syndicate you are well aware of that. I'm pretty sure it was a kinda troll video anyways, I'm expecting a High Def myths video next, why 1920 x 1080 is all you'd ever need.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This. 

I did a FLAC VS MP3 test using my own music (OSTs from various indie games of which I own both MP3 and FLAC versions) comparing various bit rates and I could never tell the difference. This was using onboard sound (which doesn't make a difference) and 8 Ohm headphones (so not audiophile level at all).

I would imagine the only true way to hear the difference is with audiophile equipment. But then, that defeats the purpose. Since I won't ever get that as I can't justify spending that much money on audio.

See the thing is I have all of my music in FLAC, WMA Lossless and MP3 form on my phone and occasionally I decide to see if I can tell if it's MP3 or one of the Lossless formats and I'm yet to be wrong in my guesses and I have a Blackberry so it's not exactly got the highest end soundcard in it but that's just my two cents :P


Console optimisations and how they will effect you | The difference between AMD cores and Intel cores | Memory Bus size and how it effects your VRAM usage |
How much vram do you actually need? | APUs and the future of processing | Projects: SO - here

Intel i7 5820l @ with Corsair H110 | 32GB DDR4 RAM @ 1600Mhz | XFX Radeon R9 290 @ 1.2Ghz | Corsair 600Q | Corsair TX650 | Probably too much corsair but meh should have had a Corsair SSD and RAM | 1.3TB HDD Space | Sennheiser HD598 | Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro | Blue Snowball

Link to post
Share on other sites

See the thing is I have all of my music in FLAC, WMA Lossless and MP3 form on my phone and occasionally I decide to see if I can tell if it's MP3 or one of the Lossless formats and I'm yet to be wrong in my guesses and I have a Blackberry so it's not exactly got the highest end soundcard in it but that's just my two cents :P

See, the thing is, there are different qualities of MP3 (different bit rates and such). Like... not all MP3's are made equal. Maybe you just have terrible MP3 songs?

Try a test made for it. That's what I did. And I was pretty much stuck to guessing after a minute, with my ratio going closer and closer to 50% right as I went on.


† Christian Member †

For my pertinent links to guides, reviews, and anything similar, go here, and look under the spoiler labeled such. A brief history of Unix and it's relation to OS X by Builder.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that's my pick for the #1 dumbest computer part ever.  I should find one just so I can say I have one, but I believe the original MSRP was $100.  Not kidding.

 

http://ixbtlabs.com/articles3/monitor/his-iclear.html

 

http://www.engadget.com/2008/06/25/his-iclear-claims-to-reduce-noise-really-just-fills-an-empty-pc/

Anyone know how much they sold these things for? I think I found my get rich quick scheme.

Link to post
Share on other sites

See, the thing is, there are different qualities of MP3 (different bit rates and such). Like... not all MP3's are made equal. Maybe you just have terrible MP3 songs?

Try a test made for it. That's what I did. And I was pretty much stuck to guessing after a minute, with my ratio going closer and closer to 50% right as I went on.

I converted my 1200 bitrate FLACs into MP3s so they share a source & I've done that test, I got 80%

 

EDIT: Just thought I'd make it clear they were 320 kbps MP3s


Console optimisations and how they will effect you | The difference between AMD cores and Intel cores | Memory Bus size and how it effects your VRAM usage |
How much vram do you actually need? | APUs and the future of processing | Projects: SO - here

Intel i7 5820l @ with Corsair H110 | 32GB DDR4 RAM @ 1600Mhz | XFX Radeon R9 290 @ 1.2Ghz | Corsair 600Q | Corsair TX650 | Probably too much corsair but meh should have had a Corsair SSD and RAM | 1.3TB HDD Space | Sennheiser HD598 | Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro | Blue Snowball

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been puting off doing this with some of my 24/96 music and making it into 320mp3 and seeing if i can hear a diff. after doing that, I really can't hear that much of a diff. and if i do its very minor.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The tune doesn't matter, could have used a walrus fart played through a tuba. The idea is to try to hear differences. 

@M-ursu is offended lol :P


The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We've gone over this about 10 times by now in this thread alone. I never said FLAC was totally useless, and it's points for archival are 100% valid. Majority of people, including sound engineers, have confirmed there is no real difference in PLAYBACK between 320 kbps/AAC than FLAC. Sure, some people can hear slight differences, that's good for you.

 

that is only true for good conversions, heck there are probably even a lot of FLACs around the Internet made out of low quality MP3s ...

And there most certainly are a lot of low quality 256kbit/s and 320kbit/s MP3/AAC etc. around ...

 

So I bet, if we take an 'average' MP3 from a song moving around on the interwebz and an average FLAC, you probaly will here a difference with the right equipment.

 

 

Also with some songs/albums it doesn't really matter as the mastering already is utterly shit.


Mini-Desktop: NCASE M1 Build Log
Mini-Server: M350 Build Log

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think the video actually proves much, however it is informative and most of the things discussed are correct to a certain degree. Obviously many of the topics discussed have been dumbed down a bit, so it is more comprehensible for the average person.

 

About Lossless vs Compressed formats for your music, most of the time Compressed will suffice, however there might be some areas where you can hear a slight difference between the two, but when listening, you have to know what to listen for. 

If you want to read more about sampling and uncompressed music in higher bit rates and sample rates, these two[1][2] articles are very informative.

 

Taking a look at balanced headphones and amplifiers, it does make a difference. "it uses inverse positive / negative electrical paths to deliver equal and opposite audio signals to each side of the headphone driver voice coil"[3], as the article also discusses it improves the slew rate drastically if implemented correctly, which can lead to a better audio performance. Using balanced cables also helps eliminating cross talk. However, cross talk on headphone cables are not usually present as the lengths of the cables are quite short. It is used a lot in professional settings, where long cable runs to speakers etc. are used.

My personal opinion on balanced setups is that it does make a difference, and it is an audible one. However you will not get a night and day difference, but it is noticeable enough for me that I don't want to switch back, especially not on my main rig.

 

I agree getting a sound card for you computer is not a great decision, unless, you are using it for recording or similar. I have owned different sound cards such as Xonar D2x and ESi Prodigy 7.1 HiFi and they were pretty good, the latter had some noise issues, which is why I returned it and got the D2x instead. However, I never got to use all the features they provide and used them with a headphone amplifier anyways, because at the time I was using some high impedance headphones. Majority of time I was simply using the stereo output and that was it. Looking back buying a DAC would have been a better choice and which is what I have now. So the only use for a new sound card would be either:

  • For recording stuff
  • The current one is bad at something and you really want to keep stuff internally in the computer
  • You have driver issues etc. with your current.

Otherwise pick a DAC if it is in your price range. Buying a $30 sound card will in most case not improve much, if anything at all.

 

For anyone interested I am currently using a Audio-gd 10.32 and a pair of HiFiMAN HE-400 with a balanced cable. Pretty kick ass combo and I have listened to higher end rigs, and the price difference for what you get is currently too high for me to even consider upgrading anything.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you think was wrong in the video?

Before I start I should say that I have only watched half the video so far, nor have I read the replies here or more than a handful of comments on YouTube. However, most people that see that video won't go to this thread and look up explanations though. They will take whatever is said in the video as fact, which is why I will be harsh when judging it. Here are the issues I got with the video's first 12 minutes. Might watch the rest later but not right now.

 

Does FLAC matter? It does not

I just want to quote that because it does matter, and I will get to it later in this post.

 

<insert audio test here>

This part is extremely misleading. By playing the music in the video and going “close your eyes when you listen” you will make people try it out for themselves using the video. The only problem is that the YouTube video people watch will have 192Kbps AAC audio or maybe even worse (depending on the video quality the users pick). So people will listen to 192Kbps AAC, and then 192Kbps AAC and go “wow they are right, I can’t hear a difference!”. I wouldn’t trust the music Logan has made (no idea what he has done with it during production) in a test either. You should use a wide variety of music made by people who know what they are doing when you test. Choirs can often be affected by lossy compression in an audible way for example.

 

“You are wasting space in your hard drive. […] it’s 8MB of space just doing nothing”

It is doing something. It holds data which the MP3 file no longer contains. Sure, let’s say it is completely impossible to hear a difference (which it isn’t, it is extremely hard, requires very expensive equipment and very good ears), but what if you transcode it a few times? The small pieces the lossy codecs take away starts to stack up fairly quickly in those cases. It is very important for archiving.

 

“I feel like I am going to get a lot of hate mail like dude you are half deaf”

Well that’s hyperbole but yes you do have significantly worse hearing than a lot of people simply because you are older. By the age of 30 you might have lost about 10dB in the high range compared to a child or young teen.

Hearing range of humans

 

The problem with MP3 and other lossy codecs is that different encoders have different outputs. Razorlame will cut out almost everything over 16KHz while AltoMP3 will keep a lot of it and start butchering everything over 20KHz. So with lossy codecs one encoder might be transparent, while another one might have an audible difference to certain people (depending on hearing and indirectly their age). With FLAC all encoders will have the same audio quality. Here is an example of different MP3 encoder outputs:

Comparison of different MP3 encoders on Head-Fi

 

 

The human ear, on average, 20Hz up to 20KHz, depending on your age and a million other factors it can be anywhere within maybe 5% of those numbers

Well that’s just completely wrong. No idea where you got that 5% number from. Most adults can only hear up to 16KHz and it continues to decrease with age quite dramatically (by the age of 40 most males have about 10dB lower sensitivity to the higher frequency spectrum). The lowest a human might be able to hear is 12Hz, and we can feel (feel but not hear) sounds down to 4Hz. Low frequencies are not as affected by age as high frequencies are.

 

Anything above 44.1 or 48KHz is total overkill, it is 100% total overkill

That is wrong, it is 100% total wrongness. Frequencies over the Nyquist frequency must have an antialiasing filter unless you want audible distortion. High sampling rates are not used to extend the audible range. It is very difficult to make a filter that removes everything above let’s say 20KHz, but nothing below it. By oversampling so that our Nyquist frequency is let’s say 48KHz (a sampling rate of 96KHz) you need a much less accurate filter and the risk of audible distortion is next to null. Here is Xiph’s explanation of it:

A Digital Media Primer for Geeks

 

tubes are terrible

They have their uses. I am not a fan and ihasmario seems far more knowledgeable than I am when it comes to tube amps.

 

(Vinyl) potentially can (sound better than a CD)

<insert something about it being 50/50 if it sounds better or not>

I am going to quote hydrogenaudio here because they explain it well.

As described below, despite decades of arguments, there is no technical proof of the sonic superiority of the vinyl medium compared to CD. One vinyl record may sound better than its equivalent CD for extremely specific reasons. That does not mean the medium as a whole is superior.

 

Many people do prefer listening to music on vinyl rather than on CD or digital formats. Many of those reasons have nothing to do with actual sound quality, and have more to do with the tactile characteristics of vinyl - its "feel" - like larger artwork and its required playback ritual. Others prefer listening to CDs for a different set of reasons. There is nothing wrong with preferring vinyl to CDs, as long as the preference is honestly stated on emotional terms, or is precisely quantified and tied to subjective experience, and not obscured with (fallacious) technical appeals.

 

Different masters can substantially improve or reduce sound quality. Some have less background noise. Some alter the dynamic range. There are other mastering techniques that can also affect the sound.

 

There are documented instances of different masters being used on vinyl releases compared to CD releases. One notable example is The White Stripes' Icky Thump. However, there are also instances of the same masters being used on vinyl releases compared to CD releases. In fact, if you purchase an album produced in the last two decades on vinyl, it is likely that the master will be no different than the one used on CD. Alternative masters for vinyl cost money, and mastering is a significant cost of producing a record. The reason for different masters is that producers possibly view digital media (like CD) and analog media (like Vinyl) to be different in nature, so they might produce a different master for each medium. Some even believe that Vinyl will automatically yield a superior sound, despite the well known technical limitations and disadvantages compared to the CD.

 

The technical details behind this myth are as follows. The cutting heads used for creating the vinyl lacquer (or metal mother) are speaker-like electromechanical devices driven by an extremely powerful amplifier (several hundred watts). At extremely large/fast cutting head excursions, the cutting head coils may physically burn up, much like how a speaker's voice coils may be destroyed by an excessive current. Also, the diamond cutting head stylus may prematurely wear or break. This places important constraints on the maximum levels that can be recorded to a record.

 

A very high power output is required to cut grooves with a high acceleration. Acceleration at the same signal amplitude is higher for higher-frequency signals. Heavily clipped and limited CDs in the modern mastering style have more high-frequency content than earlier masters. In general, increasing the perceived volume of a record - whether by increasing the recording level or by limiting/clipping/compression - raises the cutting head average power.

 

Additionally, during playback, the turntable's stylus has limits on what grooves it can successfully track. Cartridges can only track grooves of a finite modulation width (measured in microns) that decreases in frequency. For instance, a cartridge may only be able to track a 300 µm-wide groove at 300 Hz, and yet only 50 µm at 20 kHz. This also places limits on the acceleration and velocity limits the record master can take.

 

The most obvious way to work around these issues is simply to reduce the recording level of the vinyl master. Multiband limiters exist for recording purposes that dynamically reduce the treble content of the master, to limit the cutting head power usage.

The bottom line is that CD is superior to vinyl. The reason why some vinyl might sound better is because they have a different master, but this basically only applies to certain old vinyls. Vinyls also degrade which will cause them do sound worse.

 

The good thing about vinyl is that it’s recorded in 24bit unlike most modern music that is recorded in 16bit.

What? Vinyl is analog and does not have a bit depth like a CD would. If you’re talking about the master then no, they are 24bit or higher for the CD master as well.

If we were to compare the analog signal to a digital, then vinyl would be about 44KHz with a bit depth of 12bits (according to cliveb on hydrogenaduio). That is worse than what you will find on a CD.

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=35530

 

 

Summary:

I understand what you are trying to do, but the video so far has been filled with half-truths, very broad generalizations and flat out misinformation. You are spreading just as much misinformation as the people saying that FLAC is awesome, only that you are doing it in the other direction saying it is useless (just using FLAC as an example, this applies to a lot of statements in the video). This video is just creating as many myths as it is trying to disprove.

The audio quality in the video wasn't that great by the way. Quite a bit of reverberation and there was a background hiss. Yes it is kind of nitpicking but really now, if you're going to talk about how to get the best audio then at least try to make the audio in the video good. Even Linus' live stream has better audio.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's do a blind test on a chiptune track that has no depth at all. At least pick a proper track and don't pick electronic music. I do agree FLAC vs MP3 and all this doesn't matter unless you go below 200kpbs MP3 or something, but damn, Logan. :(

But flac vs MP3 does matter. FLAC is a lossless format used for storage. MP3 is a smaller format used for listening. They have very distinct uses.

 

Maybe they said it in the video though, I didn't really watch it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you tell the difference between a 128 kbps song and FLAC song? Oh hell yeah!! Is a sound card required to enjoy todays PC games? Depends what you are rocking as far as motherboard. Z77 made sound card necessity very questionable and Z87 does away with it all together with Realtek ALC1150, OP-AMPs, etc. While I fancy myself an audiophile, I also know that a sound card has to be PCI-E to be future proof since PCI is extinct and that it will create additional heat and system clutter.

 

BOTTOM LINE: Today's motherboards are good enough for PC gaming. If you are are into Blu-ray look for DTS. If you listen to a lot of music, invest in better speakers.


i7-3770K @ 4.5GHz, ASRock Z77 Extreme4, G.Skill Sniper 8GB DDR3 1866 @ CL9, ASUS GTX 780, CM HAF XM, Samsung 850 Pro 256GB, WD Black 1TB x 2, EVGA SuperNOVA G2 850W, BenQ XL2420TE 24" 144Hz @ 1080p, CM Nepton 280L, Noctua Industrial IP67 2000RPM 140mm PWM Fan x 6

Link to post
Share on other sites

damn I wrote a nice reply to this thread and fucking lost when I hit the back key :angry:

 

Basically:

 

@MrSuperb  the premise of the comparison is that the flac and mp3 are ripped from the same source file, it would be silly for them to suggest otherwise and I think they mentioned several times that they took there sample music from the same original wav files.

 

@LAwLz  I agree, but I also learnt from tearing apart some of H264's first review video that it is hard to produce a video and put it online for every "expert" to tear a part and call you ignorant, silly, stupid or foolish, Hence why I am trying to support the message and gently correct the more conflicting components of the video.  With any luck as we get more of them they will get more specific and leave less open to debate.

 

@Canoas yes, I think in the video Tyler mention that flac held its place for archival situations. but the message was for everyday listening you are better of with the hdd space.

 

For the record when I do music for parties, weddings etc I use 128kbps mp3, because at 112dB through re-enforcement drivers you can't hear the compression :D


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 I also know that a sound card has to be PCI-E to be future proof since PCI is extinct and that it will create additional heat and system clutter.

 

 

What are you even talking about?

 

There is literally no difference between PCIe and PCI sound cards. Heat? So you think that it outputs more heat because its PCI? Lets compare a high end PCI video card with a high end PCIe video card and see what puts out more heat. More system clutter? No. You are installing an epansion card, it will look exactly the same. If PCI is extinct, why do new motherboards have it? Its still perfectly useable for things like sound cards.

 

Futureproof? ......

 

Nope, I'm done. Stupid statement is stupid.


Old shit no one cares about but me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

damn I wrote a nice reply to this thread and fucking lost when I hit the back key :angry:

Hate when that happens. You might have been able to restore it though by pressing in the lower left corner of the reply box.

 

@LAwLz  I agree, but I also learnt from tearing apart some of H264's first review video that it is hard to produce a video and put it online for every "expert" to tear a part and call you ignorant, silly, stupid or foolish, Hence why I am trying to support the message and gently correct the more conflicting components of the video.  With any luck as we get more of them they will get more specific and leave less open to debate.
Yes I understand it's really hard to cover all bases, but this video is so far off the truth and makes so many wrong claims I might even go as far as to say it makes more harm than good. It's going from one extreme to the other extreme (for example "herp derp FLAC is amazing and everyone should use it!" to "hurp durp FLAC is worthless and should never be used!").
I mean look at all the issues I pointed out, and I only watched half the video. If you're going to prove something wrong then you shouldn't say wrong things yourself. Lying or deceiving in order to debunk another lie is not OK.
Link to post
Share on other sites

What are you even talking about?

 

There is literally no difference between PCIe and PCI sound cards. Heat? So you think that it outputs more heat because its PCI? Lets compare a high end PCI video card with a high end PCIe video card and see what puts out more heat. More system clutter? No. You are installing an epansion card, it will look exactly the same. If PCI is extinct, why do new motherboards have it? Its still perfectly useable for things like sound cards.

 

Futureproof? ......

 

Nope, I'm done. Stupid statement is stupid.

 

1. They are no longer putting PCI slots on motherboards. Anything made in future will be PCI-E x1, x4, etc.

2. The heat has nothing to do with PCI or PCI-E. It has to do with blocking airflow in your system. Even if you have reference card(s), better airflow = better OC = better performance.

3. Stupid statement? OK...you are entitled to your opinion.


i7-3770K @ 4.5GHz, ASRock Z77 Extreme4, G.Skill Sniper 8GB DDR3 1866 @ CL9, ASUS GTX 780, CM HAF XM, Samsung 850 Pro 256GB, WD Black 1TB x 2, EVGA SuperNOVA G2 850W, BenQ XL2420TE 24" 144Hz @ 1080p, CM Nepton 280L, Noctua Industrial IP67 2000RPM 140mm PWM Fan x 6

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×